Donald Fehr floated as possible successor to Billy Hunter as NBA union chief

Bruce Bennett

Could the chief of the NHL Players Association leave hockey behind to helm the NBA's players union?

With current NBA players union chief Billy Hunter likely on his way out, longtime sports union executive Donald Fehr could emerge as his ultimate successor, CBS Sports' Ken Berger reports.

Currently the head of the NHL Players Association, Fehr is, "the early preferred pick among multiple agents with enough clout to sway a significant portion of union membership," according to Berger's sources. It's unclear whether that interest goes both ways, but his contract with the NHLPA could be terminated by either side with 60 days notice.

Fehr, 64, represented the NHL players in recent negotiations with the league during the lengthy lockout, eventually completing a deal without losing the entire season. But he is the only sports union chief in history to preside over work stoppages in multiple sports.

A longtime head for the MLB Players Association, Fehr presided over negotiations with baseball owners during the players' strike of 1994-95. But Fehr's intense leadership style appears to appeal to those near the NBA's players union, Berger writes, as a challenging negotiating partner for soon-to-be commissioner Adam Silver.

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